The state on Tuesday reported 35 new COVID-19 cases in Alaska, all involving residents, according to the Department of Health and Social Services COVID-19 dashboard.
No new deaths were reported. In total, 42 Alaskans have died with the virus since the start of the pandemic, with five of those deaths reported last week. Alaska has one of the lowest death rates in the country.
Separately, tribal health officials expressed concern about community spread in Bristol Bay Borough and reported two new cases identified Tuesday.
State data showed only 12 confirmed resident cases in combination with Lake and Peninsula Borough as of Friday. Since then, the Camai Community Health Center has identified six new positive results, according to a statement Tuesday.
Locals originally feared thousands of salmon fishermen and seafood industry workers could bring the virus. Sixty-five nonresidents did test positive, many of them seafood workers required to quarantine. Most left the area by July, when there was no community spread in the borough, according to a report by KDLG public radio that month.
As of Tuesday around Alaska there were 3,654 active cases among residents and 689 active cases among nonresidents, according to state data.
Since the virus was first detected here in March, 5,833 Alaskans and 891 nonresidents in the state have tested positive for COVID-19.
Statewide as of Tuesday, 36 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 while five other hospital patients were awaiting test results, according to state data. Of Alaska’s 153 intensive care unit beds, 82 were in use.
The Municipality of Anchorage has been contending with a large outbreak at the Brother Francis Shelter involving at least 93 people, one of whom died recently. Many of the people testing positive were showing no symptoms though several required hospitalization. Municipal officials in an update late last week said they expected that outbreak among homeless and near-homeless people to remain a priority.
Four new cases were identified as of Friday. More test results are pending.
It wasn’t immediately clear how many, if any, of the new Anchorage cases were considered part of that population.
Of the new cases, it also wasn’t clear how many patients were showing symptoms of the virus when they tested positive.
Of the 35 new resident cases reported Tuesday, 17 were in Anchorage; one was in Homer; four were in Fairbanks and one was in North Pole; one was in Palmer and two were in Wasilla; two were in Utqiagvik; one was in Kotzebue; three were in Juneau; one was in Sitka; and one was in Unalaska.
Among communities smaller than 1,000 that are not identified to protect resident confidentiality, there was one in the Northwest Arctic Borough.
The state’s testing positivity rate as of Tuesday was 2.26% over a seven-day rolling average.
— Zaz Hollander
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